Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fall '09 Movies: Cheers, Fears, and Unclears Part Two

So yesterday I posted the movies coming out this fall that I am most excited. However, due to my obnoxious homework and time restraints, I never had time to complete that post, hence why it is now in two parts. This one will cover my fears (the movies I'm dreading the release of) and the unclears (movies that I'm on the fence about). Fears -All About Steve, expected 9/4: Ok, I get it. Romantic comedies appeal to a specific audience that just happens to love them. I have nothing against the genre. But this just seems sad. A movie about a crossword editor that falls in love with a reporter and then stalks him accross the country? No thanks. I would like to point out that I have never been a fan of Sandra Bullock. Her performances are way too heavy-handed, and she usually plays the same character over and over, in my opinion. This one is different for her, I admit; but where the character is supposed to come off as eccentric, Bullock seems way too creepy, like the crazy girl who needs to be institutionalized immediately. I fail to see the romance or the comedy in this one. And honestly, this poster alone ruined it for me.

-Any one of the myriad horror movies: There's plenty of slasher/torture porn this year. From Sorority Row (9/11) to Pandorum (9/18) to The Stepfather (10/16) to Saw VI (10/23) to The Fourth Kind (11/6, this one has the nerve to call itself a true story too), its just another year of crappy horror films meant to scare teenagers and offer little else. Of the movies I listed, only two are originals; the others are remakes (with the exception of Saw VI; as a personal note, the Saw franchise needs to go away, ASAP). There's no real reason to be excited about any of these.
-Capitalism: A Love Story, due 9/23: I'm one of the few liberals, I think, who despises Michael Moore. His causes are usually noble ones; namely, exposing different government agencies and industries that are corrupt and in need of fixing. However, this doesn't excuse the fact that his "documentaries" can hardly count as fair, much less worth watching. In this one, as he takes on Wall Street, I expect audiences will see him mugging for the camera, interviewing people with the intent to make them look like idiots, all while using his usual "aw gee, I'm just a normal guy" schtick to make us feel like we're being shafted. I don't mind exposing the truth, but when you're a rich documentarian who can go anywhere and do just about anything he pleases, don't tell me you're a champion of the people. Knowing just how much money he's going to make from this one is reason enough to miss this one.
-2012, due 11/6: It's bad enough that people actually think the world is going to end on December 21, 2012. Since when have the Mayans been in charge of the fate of the world? Isn't it possible that they just stopped their calendar? And, least we forget, their entire civilization was wiped out by the Spanish centuries ago. Not exactly earning them credibility points. What makes this movie worse is that it's all about special effects and the destruction of as many global landmarks as hack director Roland Emmerich (he of Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow fame) can possibly fit between snipits of "plot." There seems to be some kind of ark, and there's a Bentley driving out of an airplane, according to the trailer. Personally, it seems very been-there, blown-that-up. In fact, this spoof trailer looks better than the movie actually does: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZW2qxFkcLM0
-The Twilight Saga: New Moon, due 11/20: Honestly, I could write a book about how much I despise Twilight and all of its spawn. But there's just not enough time for that, and I don't feel like wasting any time on this.
-Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, due 12/25: 'Nuff said.
Unclears
-Jennifer's Body, due 9/18: It does have some good things going for it: Megan Fox in what feels like a parody of herself, the wonderful Amanda Seyfried, a gloriously campy trailer and a script from Diablo Cody. Against it, though, is the fact that it is indeed a horror movie, and I fear that it will fall into the usual horror tropes. Plus, I'm sad that Cody is doing the typical female-Oscar-winner-does-horror-as-follow-up thing. It's supposed to be a gory metaphor for high school sexuality; if it maintains a certain camp factor, then it could be a great B-movie.
-Amelia, due 10/23: It's exciting to see Mira Nair doing an epic biopic like this, but it feels a little too much like a female version of The Aviator. Its certainly glorifying Amelia Earhart, an undoubtedly interesting character; but I'm not a big fan of Hilary Swank. I feel like her performances are a little too forced, like she's refusing to let the character come to a complete life. And, this is a personal opinion, I think she robbed Annette Bening and Kate Winslet of an Oscar in 1999 and 2004, respectively. I may go see this one, but unless I see some more impressive footage, I may not.
-Antichrist, due 10/23: I've never seen a Lars von Trier movie, and from what I understand he is a very hit-or-miss director. However, this one got a lot of buzz at Cannes, and the trailer that I've seen for it looks creepy. If it has a deep psychological element to it, this could be a great modern horror film. If that creepiness gets too bizarre, though, I doubt I'll find it exhilerating.
-A Christmas Carol, due 11/6: I saw the last two films Robert Zemekis made with his motion-capture technology (The Polar Express and Beowulf), and I found them likable enough (though I must add that this being his third movie like this, with a fourth, a remake of Yellow Submarine, on the way, he's getting a little obsessed with this). He's supposedly fixed the whole "dead eyes" problem, and Jim Carrey as Ebeneezer Scrooge and all three ghosts should be a blast to watch. Still, I've just got a strange feeling about this one. The trailer hasn't entirely convinced me yet, as you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV7SwUmSuvc
-The Princess and the Frog, due 11/25: Disney returns to the 2D animated musical with this retelling of the classic fairy tale, setting it in New Orleans. It looks like a well-made movie, and will hopefully serve as a reminder that in our increasingly 3D world, 2D can still tell a great story (assuming, of course, this has a great story). The casting of Anika Noni Rose is inspired (she was dreadfully overlooked in Dreamgirls), and the music sounds as vibrant as the Ninth Ward at Mardi Gras. My only fear is that it will play way too flat, and end up being a stinker. And might I go ahead and wonder why its taken this long for Disney's "Princess Club" to finally get an African-American member?
-Avatar, due 12/18: Yeah, yeah, I know. It's James Cameron's sci-fi masterpiece. It's revolutionary in its effects process. It's going to change the way movies are made forever. It's the best movie ever made in the history of time. It's going to be the biggest movie in the history of the world. But after watching the first trailer, and shifting through the ridiculous amount of hype surrounding it, I can honestly say that I still have no idea what's going on. It looks like a great effects movie, and I don't deny this process is revolutionary. But at the end of the day, does it have any semblence of a story? And is the acting any good at all, or does that even matter? I can't say I'm going to be first in line for this one; if I do see it, I'm approaching with caution.
So there you have it. See you at the movies. Expect a pretty steady stream of reviews as I get around to seeing this films.

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